We examined the relationships among social support knowledge, supportive behavior, intimacy with one's spouse, and satisfaction with support provided by one's spouse among 41 Israeli kibbutz couples. We test the hypothesis that support knowledge and support behavior influence the intimacy between couples and increase satisfaction with spouse's social support efforts. Alternative causal mechanisms are explored with simultaneous equation modeling. Results indicate that satisfaction with social support behavior by one's spouse is mediated entirely by intimacy with one's spouse. Results also indicate that partner's knowledge about social support behavior directly affects intimacy and indirectly generates social support satisfaction independent of actual supportive behavior. The findings do not differ by sex. The consistency of the findings with family behavior exchange theory and implications for marital therapy are discussed.
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